Koeman has revealed that his young striker was “very tired” after coming on for his big comeback last weekend in La Liga.
Barca coach Ronald Koeman has insisted Ansu Fati will not be rushed into his starting XI, despite the goal he scored on his return to competition against Levante.
Ansu suffered a serious knee injury in November 2020 that kept him away from the pitch for 10 months, but he was finally able to make his long-awaited return to the pitch in Barca’s last La Liga outing on Sunday.
The 18-year-old scored after coming off the sidelines for the last 10 minutes against Levante to wrap up the Blaugrana’s 3-0 win, marking his first appearance since inheriting Lionel’s No.10 shirt Messi.
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Koeman was pleased with Ansu Fati’s impact on the Camp Nou debates, but he also revealed that the forward suffered from fatigue after the game.
The Barca coach will not take any risks with the Spaniard’s physical condition, as he said at a press conference when asked if he will play against Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
“He was very tired on Monday, Koeman declared. What happened also had a huge emotional impact on him after such a long absence, coming in, scoring, being with his family. We have to keep the mental aspect in mind.
“He trained today without a problem. We will continue to try to give him more playing time. It depends on Ansu’s condition. We need to increase (his minutes) but I can’t say until then. each game how many minutes he can play depends on the player. “
The Dutchman was also asked whether Ansu could be called up to Spain’s squad for the UEFA Nations League final in early October, to which he replied: “I don’t know because I am not the coach of the national team.
“He’s still missing a lot [pour être à 100 %], as we talked about the other day. Things went well on Sunday, he had the 15 minutes we had planned and scoring was perfect for us.
“But I can’t give my opinion on Spain. What I can say is that he was absent for 10 months. He trained with the team for two weeks and only played only 15 minutes of football. ”
Fati’s teammate Ronald Araujo also expressed relief at the teenager’s good recovery, while urging fans to be patient as he gets back into shape for the games.
“I am very happy that he is back because we know what happened. It is not easy to be away for a year, said the Uruguayan defender. He’s happy, thank God, he was able to make a good comeback, he scored an important and magnificent goal. But this is only the beginning and you have to be patient. “